TN minister sentenced for 3 years; loses post

TN minister sentenced for 3 years; loses post

Tamil Nadu Youth Affairs and Sports Development Minister P Balakrishna Reddy was on Monday sentenced to three years in prison in a 20-year-old case relating to destruction of public property. Since the sentencing is more than three years, Balakrishna stands disqualified as a member of the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly.

Though the court suspended his sentence allowing him to appeal the order without having to go to jail, he automatically lost his post. Suspending of the sentence does not mean his pronouncing as accused is also suspended, sources said.

Reddy, the MLA from Hosur near Bengaluru, is the second minister after late chief minister J Jayalalithaa who was convicted in the disproportionate assets case. However, her conviction was struck down by Karnataka High Court paving the way for her entry into Assembly.

But Jayalalithaa was convicted by the Supreme Court but it did not come into effect since she died by then.

Immediately after the verdict, Reddy said he would appeal against the order of the special court that is looking into cases against MPs and MLAs.

This is yet another embarrassment for the AIADMK Government which is battling crisis after crisis in the state. If Reddy's disqualification comes into effect, the number of vacancies in the state would rise to 21.

Further details are awaited.